Young Pompey midfield pairing out to show they can cut it

Pompey midfielder Adam May
Pompey midfielder Adam May
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POMPEY’s young midfield axis is out to answer Kenny Jackett’s questions over their experience.

Adam May and Ben Close look set to continue their partnership in the middle of the park against Blackpool tomorrow.

The pairing impressed on May’s return to the side, as the Blues’ young guns grafted to a 2-1 win on the road at Fleetwood on Tuesday night.

With May just 20 and Close a year older, it’s a link-up which echoed the youthful make-up of Jackett’s team at Highbury Stadium.

The average age of his starting XI was 22.5 on that occasion, with it set to be a similar story at Fratton Park this weekend.

Jackett has aired reservations about having a young partnership, and has opted for additional muscle by using Nathan Thompson centrally until his red card at Southend.

May accepts the reasons for the Pompey boss’ view, but feels if you are good enough you’re old enough.

He said: ‘It’s fair enough (Jackett’s reservations). So we have to show the maturity to prove that wrong.

‘Me and Closey are both young, but if we can show the maturity we did at Fleetwood and grind it out if needed, that’s what matters.

‘Hopefully, that’s something we can continue to do.

‘It’s a dream to play, being here since I was a young kid.

‘It’s always been a dream to get into the first team and play regularly.

‘I’ve managed to get a few games and now I’m in again I have another chance.

‘I aim to stay in the team.

‘Last year was a bit different but this year I was given a chance at the start of the season.

‘I had an injury and the red card against Shrewsbury so it’s been a bit in and out.

‘That’s football, but I’ve got a chance and I can stay in the team now.’

May earned praise for his showing on his return to the side at Fleetwood.

It was the academy product’s first start since being sent off in the 1-0 defeat against the Shrews at the end of last month.

The midfielder has found himself much closer to the first team this season, however, with 14 starts to his name along with two appearances off the bench.

Now May’s laid down a marker, he’s confident he can maintain that standard moving forward.

‘My main aim is to stay in the team, pick up results and hopefully make the play-offs,’ he added.

‘You have to do that, though, by putting in good performances. You need to play well and I believe I can do that.

‘That, for me, was a good start against Fleetwood. Now, hopefully, I can do it again against Blackpool.

Pompey go into Saturday’s game two points off the play-offs, after their second win of the year. May feels another success will kick-start play-offs ambitions.

He said: ‘You just need a couple of wins to get back in there.

‘We were near the play-offs and didn’t have the best of times in January.

‘A win against Fleetwood leaves us in good stead for Blackpool. If we win then we’re well in the race.’